tv Closing Bell With Maria Bartiromo CNBC February 12, 2010 4:00pm-5:00pm EST
a lot of talk about china and of course a lot of talk about what or may not be going on in dubai. we're waiting for the share of berk going into the s&p 500. 50 million to close. probably due to 50 to 70 million shares going in. this is a good sign. remember, they're going to have to be selling the rest of the s&p 500, but so far it hasn't had a big impact in terms of prices and that's what you want to see. about flat on the week here. you know who is next, maria bartiromo. [ closing bell ringing ] and it is 4:00 on wall street. do you know where your money is? hi, everybody. welcome back to the "closing bell." i'm maria bartiromo at the floor of the new york stock exchange. i'm standing at the post of berkshire hathaway. the stock looking to close 77.25 on 100 million shares. volume is hot that stock has been added to the s&p 500 at the close. i will give you the final close
as soon as we get it in this very busy crowd. here's what we're fmg at the close, in addition to berkshire hathaway, stocks in retreat for much of the afternoon today. ending on the downside. renewed worries tonight of a global economic slowdown on the heels of moves out of china to try to slowdown the rapid growth going out in that and nation. we're closing well off of the lows on the afternoon however on the dow. china, once again, the big story of course after that nation moved to tighten bank reserve requirements. they're tightening bank lending with the thought that that may very well slow down the economic growth that we've been seeing 10.7% was the last growth that we saw in that red-hot economy of china. a mixed data on the state of the consumer here in the united states. retail sales climbing more than forecast in january, but consumer sentiment unexpectedly declined this month. and here we go, once more, an update on berkshire hathaway. 77.25 on 300 million shares.
on berkshire hathaway. busy day down here on the floor. take a look at where the major averages finishing the day on wall street. ahead of a long holiday weekend. and as i mentioned, we are seeing volume of 1.25 billion shares down 41 points down on the dow jones industrial. a full house today with all the stories going on this friday afternoon. a special guest and our team coming up. get right to bob pisani, our "eye on the floor" on the nyse. robert? >> hello, maria. and take a look at berkshire hathaway, and as you saw from maria, folks, we're waiting for the close there. so that's going to be a little bit of us is spence. but berkshire here has traded just about even at the close. we've probably done north of 100 million shares right now. we've still got another one to go here. we could do 170, 180 million shares of berkshire hathaway at the close. you could see a pop in there on the upside keep an eye on that. remember it's going into the s&p 500 today. elsewhere, the three issues been around all week and although the dubai issue has just popped up. the eu finance ministers meeting
on monday and tupz day but there's no indication that they're necessarily going to put any detail plan that the point. pulling back and waiting for a more clear-cut commitment from greece on their cost-cutting measures. cline atheir bank reserves, tightening their bank reserves, putting pressure on commodity stocks throughout the day. the reason they're doing that? big property price bubble going on there. they're trying to rein in some spending here. dubai credit default swaps there. we did get a $10 billion in aid from abu dhabi back in december, fell off of the front pages. nothing's happened since then. no real restructuring plan that has resurfaced. how about retail sales, this is going to be a big weekend. a disaster in the northeast with all of the snowstorms going on but a big day for valentine's day and presidents' day. hoping to make it up. there you go abercrombie, walmart and jcpenney all reporting earnings next week and of course waiting for guidance from them. how about other names that are out there? a look at some of the big names that are material group. all weak today on the china news
here. this has been an issue all throughout the week. at the same time they were selling materials, they were modestly buying tech stocks. here is your outperformer for the week. some of the big tech names all did better know that the nasdaq, in fact, outperformed the s&p 500 to the upside. there you can see some the big tech names that moved up to the side today. major indices for the week the dow jones industrial average wait for things to settle out here up about 0.8%. the nasdaq there, is your outperform, again buying material stocks and selling tech stocks, maria, a very nice week for the nasdaq. up 1.9%, outperforming the dow jones industrial's side. >> indeed, technology, not just one of the bright spots for the week but a bright spot for the day, actually. bob, thank you very much. meanwhile, bertha coombs is at the nasdaq. she's got technology story and when we might expect next week. >> reporter: maria, nasdaq, with this strong performance this week, actually breaks a four-week losing streak ever since we got those intel earnings we had good earnings in january and we got the tech sell-off. we came back up. we're still well below those
january early highs but there was a shift this week. today two big factors were upgrades for research in motion and qualcomm. rimp upped over at to rbc for their top pick. qualcomm to overweight but intel is definitely one of the big factors in the outperformance of the nasdaq this week. take a look at that the one-week chart. intel today, busting out above that $20, which has been a big resistance ever since they reported their earnings last month. today it busts out. intel also joining with china investment corp. in an interesting move. they're going to invest in new technologies, innovations, they say. that was a big factor today. also now take a look at the chip stocks, overall this week the chips have been battered. they were really in correction territory coming into the week. this week they outperformed on the back of intel, on the back of some other names who kept moving higher. keep going here on the stocks and take a look at apple.
apple was also another big name today colleaguing out at 200 bucks a share. hasn't been there all company. pushed price target up to $280 a share. the high price target on the street is $300. and the winner today in terms of big gains was skillsoft, it mitf hits a new year high after it agrees to be taken out by private equity company. before i leave you, we're likely to get news from microsoft on its new operating system and also hearing from genzyme, applied materials and dell, big tech names reporting earnings. back to you. have a great weekend. >> you too. have a great weekend, bertha. the talk here on wall street centering around news that china is once again tapping the brakes to try to slowdown the economy there. joining me now to discuss the ripple effect that this move may have, david kelley, chief market strategist. jack ablin, executive vice president and chief investment officer with harris private bank. head of investment strategist with blackrock strsk equities and cnbc's tyler mathisen.
gentlemen, good to see you. let's talk about the slowdown or expectations of slowdown in china. is this going to have a real impact, david kelley? >> i don't think that it should. i think that -- first of all, i think it's very reasonable for the chinese government to try to slow down their economy. they want to make sure they avoid some sort of boom and bust here. but really for the u.s. economy, slow down in china isn't really that big of a deal. they're a very small export market for us, and in fact a slowdown in china can actually hold down commodity prices and that's a positive for the u.s. economy. so i don't think there is anything particular to be worried about in these attempts to slow the chinese economy. >> and, yet, jack ablin, you saw a real ripple effect here in terms of where people are gravitating in terms of what they were investing. what's the impact even if it's just a technical impact in terms of trading and investing? >> well, i think that, maria, the emerging markets, china specifically the equity market is still far ahead of their economy, so any attempt to slow
the economy is just going do widen that gap between equity valuations and what's going on underneath the surface. i tend to agree that i'm not worried so much about the chinese economy. but i am worried about is that their markets are ahead of it. so i would like to see if they do pull back and break down, probably take money off the table and move into maybe commodities. keep the same bet. bet on that chinese consumer but not have to worry about expensive ikty valuations. >> russ costrich, how do you play this. >> i have a slightly different view, which is i agree that the risk is not on the economic's side, it's to the sentiment's side and here is the problem. china's been a huge source of liquidity. over the last year, chinese money supply's up 25%. you compare that to the u.s., where despite all of the fed's efforts on money supplies only have 2%. and the difference is chinese banks have been lending. u.s. bank have not. so from the u.s. bank loans down 17%. in china they're up 30% year
over year. what i worry's about is if china pulls its liquidity and a turn into the global cycle this is going to be a hiccup. it doesn't derail the economic recovery but it may slow down the rally so in that case you want to get a bit more defensive and start to think about lower bets both in the market and take some money off of commodities as well. >> tyler mathisen, you had to expect this was coming. we saw indications that the government chinese were -- was taking step-by-step action in terms of making sure that inflation did not become runaway. >> reporter: well, that's very true and i think one of the lessons today increasingly, and on any given day, what china does has the power to move the markets very, very significantly. right or wrong. and the guests earlier were saying, well, maybe this isn't sort of as economically significant in the long run as might meet the eye initially today. but today for this day, this is the kind of news and
increasingly, what takes place in beijing, what gets announced over there has the power to rock markets globally. another thing that i was watching today, maria, was very, very tepid economic numbers coming out of europe, which tells me that even though as those countries begin -- and the ecb, begin to remove liquidity from the system, the economy over there is even slower than ours here. >> yeah, for sure, we continue to see worries that things will even worsen there. so what about that, david kelly? i mean you've got the china situation and you've got the europe situation. what are your thoughts on the sovereign debt risk? >> doesn't that make the u.s. go to -- if the chinese are too hard and the europeans too cold? we do have lopsided world economic growth but i think for investors it is important to focus on the big picture. the big picture is the global economy is still in recovery mode. that still seems to be on track here. the earning's season has been extremely good here in the united states. we think that earnings will continue to move up. so i think that investors are
very skittish and i'm not surprised that they're very skittish given what they have seen in the last few years but i'm still very positive in stocks both here in the united states and around the world. >> what about 2010, for you, russ? what kind of a year of you looking at? >> i think it's going to be a decent year but not a brilliant year and i agree with a lot of what has been said. i don't think that this derailless the economy. i think that the economy will continue to stabilenize 2010. what i worry about a little bit is a lot of that is discounted in. earning's expectations are about 30% for the s&p this year. those are going to be some tough numbers and i think the prospect for disappoint in the 2010 on the earning's side. >> all right, gentlemen, good to have you on the program. thanks very much. we appreciate it. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> we'll see you soon, thanks, gentlemen. and we appreciate it. let's walk over to the berkshire hathaway post right here because i want to check out what's going on. i was just over here a second ago and it was not closed. let's go check it. you two have a good weekend. is it closed yet? >> 7 fwoin 5 on 110.
>> thank you, so talking about 77 to 77.25. it's not closed yet. the volume's looking like 110 million shares on berkshire hathaway. again, even though the market is closed if you have order flow and the specialists can make the decision to actually continue executing those orders and that's exactly what's happening here until he -- until he sees the final print and he says that this is going to be the final print. that's what you've got going on. you might just want to take a look there, berkshire hathaway. again, the story of the day, the stock is being add to the s&p 500. it is very heavily traded all day and there's 110 million shares as far as the volume is concerned. and we're looking at 77.25 as a close on berkshire hathaway. we've got all the updates on the stock, all of the updates here from the floor. and we're going to bring it back to you after a short break. we'll be right back. we'll talk about president obama's insistence on a new consumer protection agency. what that's going to do to business. also, we are speaking with sir evelyn de rothschild coming
up, british financiers. we'll get his take om europe and as well as the implications out of the debt in greece. compare a well equipped lexus es, to a well-equipped buick lacrosse. get inside each. and see what you find. if perfection is what you pursue, this just might change your course. meet the new class of world class. the twenty-ten lacrosse, from buick. may the best car win.
there. we're talking about 110 million shares in volume. you know that used to be an entire day here at the nyse. $76.90 to $77 a share on berkshire on 110 million shares. meanwhile another day, another bipartisan political twist. yesterday we told you about tennessee republican senator bob corker breaking banksf ranks and agreeing to work with senator chris dodd to a bipartisan regulatory reform. today it is looking like corker is backing out of that. cnbc's chief washington correspondent john harwood now with the details. john, what happened today? >> reporter: well, maria, what we've seen over the last 24 hours is two consecutive demonstrations of how difficult it is to achieve bipartisan reform. corker's not backing out entirely but he's casting some doubt over the success of the project. remember what happened yesterday. max baucus and chuck grassley, the ranking democrat and republican on the finance committee, came out and announced they'd negotiated a jobs bill $85 billion, but soon after that harry reid, the senate democratic leader, got pushed back from liberals within
his own caucus and came outane said, not so fast. we've got to shrink it. >> the message is so watered down with people wanting other things in this big package that we're going to have to come back and finish that, then we get back. >> reporter: and then you've got financial reform and you had chris dodd and richard shelby reaching an impasse on their negotiations and yesterday bob corker, the republican from tennessee, came out, said he was going to negotiate with chris dodd. and everything he said suggests that he was thinking positive. >> we don't want to sit around for a table and months and get to no. we try to get to yes. and i think that entering a negotiation when you are trying to solve a problem, that's what you need to do. >> reporter: so bob corker's gotten pushed back from his caucus as well. conservatives on the republican's side, here's what he said today in a statement "like most republicans, i believe a standalone agency for consumer protection or separating these functions from safety and soundness are nonstarters." remember that that consumer
finance protection agency is the number one desire of the obama white house. there is some room for compromise, but this is an indication that any republican who steps forward, just like any democrat, to work with the other party is going to face some resistance. and it makes it very difficult to achieve, maria. >> john, this is a story that is obviously not over and we're going to continue following that. join us for the rest of that, and john, please stay right there. join in on the conversation here with cnbc contributor chief political strategist with the potomac research group and chris krueger political strategy analyst with concept capital. good to have you on the program, everybody. let he kick it off with you, greg. and ask you what your thoughts are about this latest wrinkle in terms of both sides working together. >> you know, i'm at the point that if i think someone introduced a resolution, maria, endorsing valentine's day, this congress couldn't approve it. i mean they're totally gridlocked on everything from everything from health care to a
jobs bill and now even financial services reform. you know in the old days everyone said gridlock is good, gridlock is good for the markets. i'm beginning to think that the markets would like to see some resolution. i don't think that they're going to get it? >> stay right there, greg. i want to get to bob pisani real quick here because berkshire hathaway stock just closed. he's at the post. bob, what did it close at? >> reporter: well we've got a $76.90 is what i'm hearing. still yelling in the crowd but 100 million. you can do the math there, maria, we're talking $8 billion changing hands right at the close. $76.90. >> bobbing thanks very much. it's been a busy day there at that berkshire hathaway post, certainly as it is add to the s&p 500. let's continue this conversation here on politics and financial regulation. chris krueger, do you think that this is going to delay any reform that we're likely to see because of new issues and the fact that now we're looking at
corker back away from working well with the other side. >> well, one of our you know themes at concept capital since last winter was that financial regulatory reform will be a bipartisan bill or there will be no bill at all. the republicans have made it no secret that one of their red lines on this was the consumer financial protection agency. and any type of financial epa that is set up is really a nonstarter with republicans especially with someone -- with elizabeth warren's background at the helm. i think that corker and senator gregg have looked to negotiate in good faith. and we'll see where that leads. but this was a bill that always needed republican's support. the democrats are not unified on -- on this bill. and it's going to come down to this cfpa that is the roadblock if obama and the democrats can
seed an independence, a strong independent cpa, until they do that it is really a nonstarter. >> john, what about that, from the white house's standpoint what is the president willing to sign? >> reporter: i think going to be some give on the issue. and ultimately for this president, i believe, the function is going to be more important than the standalone agency itself. i don't believe that he'll go for a toothless but that doesn't mean that you couldn't house it in another -- in another existing part of government. and i do think there is a 21 made between the kind of bipartisan support that representative happens the both substantial chunks of caucuses that comes together. that was the promise of corker because he's the solid mainstream between the republican caucus but another kind of bipartisanship as we saw in the stimulus bill last year where you pick off a couple of more liberal members of the other party, of the republican party in this case. and i do think at the end the day it's going to be difficult for the republican caucus to
stand unified against financial reform. it'll get done eventually. the only question is, what is the character of the bill and do you have a lot of republicans or do you have only a few? >> well, what about health care reform as well? gregg, let's talk about that for a second here. because people feel like the fact that we've got billy tauzin resigning. can the big deal savings be done i mean in the 11th hour? >> they'll get probably health reform light. they'll get something modest but billy tauzin the drug industry chief lobbyist, foreign member of congress, him stepping down probably doesn't help the cause but i think issue after issue this whole concept of bipartisanship is iluseory. >> the fact that it is illusory, it's fantasy, make-believe whatever you will call it that will provide more incentive for
democrats to pull together to get that senate bill went house with fixes within the process. i think that all of the developments that we're seeing right now make it more likely that will eventually happen before election day. >> all right, great to talk with you all, thanks very much, gentlemen. we appreciate it and so you soon. lawyer, meanwhile, starting to lineup to cash in on toyota recall problems. how many lawsuits may be waiting in the wings and how much toyota could be on the hook.
welcome back. let's take a look at the other stories that we're following on the "closing bell" ticker tonight. dow component 3m makes everything from post-it notes to respiratory masks downgraded from underfochl a neutral. bad to worse, basically, over at bank of america/merrill lynch. the analyst says he's got expectations of slower growth into the next cycle. under the pressure to the tune of about 1%. chipotle mexican grill was upgraded from hold to a sell at jessica lamont telling the client the fast-casual mexican restaurant is benefitting from improving traffic trends. chipotle stock today was up 4% even in a down market. and scientific instruments
dlooe maker agilent. agilent also boosted its second quarter and full-year outlook above expectation. the stock today was higher by 2%. so toyota, the big story of the moment, certainly could toyota's massive vehicle recall end up resulting in the largest product liability case ever? cnbc's phil lebeau in chicago now. >> reporter: it's early but stay possibility that this could be a whopper in terms of product liability. lawyers are already setting up websites asking toyota victims if they're out there to contact them so they could be involved in a lawsuit. there are 41 class action suits. 13 individual suits filed so far against toyota. one that we might see involves a family killed with an avalon had weather it crashed outside of a lake in dallas the day after christmas. roughly 2,200 incidents that have been you know notified or picked out as far as involving unintended acceleration. this is according to safety research and strategies. they say there are 815 crashes.
the two bottom numbers, pay attention to those, 314 injuries, 19 deaths. given the relatively small number of injuries and deaths relative to about 7 million vehicles some believe that toyota's legal troubles could be limited. >> the pain is probably at this point as much public relations as it is legal. it seems, at the moment, that it's a containable set of cases. >> reporter: even if there aren't many cases, toyota could still pay big-time. remember the ford explorer cases? well, a jury awarded one paralyzed victim $368 million after an explorer crashed. the jury later had that -- or that judgment was later reduced to $82 million. and just within the last couple of weeks caterpillar, an injured man was awarded $54 million in a suit against caterpillar. he blamed an accident on faulty electronics in one of caterpillar's earthmovers. $54 million was the verdict there. bottom line as you check out the blog behindthewheel.cnbc.com
you'll see a lot of cases, maria. this is just the beginning of what could go on for weeks, months, years. >> all right, phil, thanks very much. this is a story, obviously that is just getting bigger. meanwhile, scott cohen is up next telling us why bernard madoff's family may be in the crosshairs of prosecutors following the release of lieutenant frank pass quali. that's up next. stay with us. >> reporter: i'm jim goldman at the silicon valley. this is "tech check." the countdown to 10 billion, apple's begun a contest as it approaches 10 billion songs downloaded from the itunes' website. buy a song, if it's the 10 billionth, you'll win a $10,000 itunes' gift card.
a big week next week for all things mobile. the mobile world congress kicks off in barcelona, spain, on monday. research in motion, now rbc's top pick, with the firm saying this will be the year for the blackberrymaker and microsoft will unveil windows mobile 7. and the latest spectacle from circdesaleh. running light, sound, mechanical sets and all controlled from this tiny mobile room nicknamed the doghouse. cirque de soleil. that's your "tech check."
welcome back. thursday's release of madoff lieutenant frank depasqualei on $10 million bail is putting the madoff family in the spotlight once against. cnbc's senior correspondent scott cohen on the story. >> maria, one of the many things that is putting the madoff spotlight. we get asked the most into the madoff case what about the family members? it is fairly clear the government is asking that question too, and these days
more and more pointedly. attorneys for peter madoff, bernie's younger brother and a top madoff executive have already acknowledged that under court filings that he is under criminal investigation. no comment from him or the government on a "the wall street journal" today that the investigation focuses on tax issues. the attorney for bernie madoff's sons, andrew and mark, says they are cooperating with investigators. it's not clear whether the sons themselves are under investigation, but attorney martin said today they have no advance knowledge of their father's crimes and what about ruth madoff? conventional wisdom says she's unlikely to face criminal charges but the authorities have never confirmed that and she still faces legal jeopaerpd nonetheless. keeping close track to a couple of civil cases that could give prosecutors a road map in a criminal case if it ever comes. banking trustee irving pickard has sued all of the family members alleging illegal money transfer it is from madoff firm. all have denied the allegations. the son's attorney calls them
"baseless" but legal experts say the combination of cases leaves the family in a tough spot. >> it's bad enough dealing with the federal government looking to take away your freedom, but you also have a trustee appointed to take all of your assets. so they're between a rock and a hard place. >> reporter: also making things tough for the family, there are cooperating witnesses including david friehling the madoff auditor there in black and the family accountant. he's pleaded -- he admitted filing false tax returns but denies that he knew about the fraud. and, frank depasqualei the aforementioned chief financial officer who pleaded guilty and won release on $10 million billion on the house arrest he too has promised to tell-all, now into a position to do so. all in all, not a great time to be a madoff. >> no. let me ask you about a development in the stanford case, meanwhile because i know that you are working on that one along dlooets side this one. >> reporter: that's right. two employees of alan stanford in that other alleged ponzi scheme acquitted today in miami on charges that they illegally charged documents.
the thomas and bruce perot already gone to the jury today but judge ordered the acquittal nonetheless. attorneys argued that there was insufficient evidence. the men intended to commit a crime. >> scott cohn with the latest on those developing stories. up next british financier evelyn de rothschild. . then a great hotel my kids will love. yeah. but wait... here's the really cool part. when i book them at the same time... voila! i can save up to 450 bucks. and we all know that can come in pretty handy. book flight and hotel, and save more. where you book matters, expedia. ♪ dot com
welcome back. new data released today shows that the euro zone expanded just 01% in the fourth quarter. that news will provide a tough backdrop tuesday's meeting of european finance ministers over worries that sovereign debt will persist. but europe woes continue to be a global threat? we talk about that now and the investment environment with british financier evelyn de rothschild. how worried are you about the debt facing greece right now? >> well, obviously i'm not an economist and i'm not someone who lives in greece, understands it, but obviously that's big trouble. >> but you know banking in the business world quite well. >> but greece has gone beyond limits of normal. it's been borrowing a lot of
money. it's not a loan, if i may say so. you've got portugal, you've got ireland. you have to look carefully at all of them. they're all very heavily debted. but i think that the important thing to realize is it is 11 years since euro came into being. and part of the agreement of the lisbon treaty was that one shouldn't interfere into the internal affairs, fiscal internal affairs, of a country. unless in dire trouble and in necessity. and people have respected it. i think i'm a realist about it. i think that something might come good out of this. i think that people have got to realize now that we've got to bring the european union on financial regulation and financial controls. >> you mentioned having very important there a moment ago. you said portugal, spain, italy, ireland. >> i didn't mention italy. >> okay, not italy. but point i'm trying to make is moral hazard. if we do see the eu be there as a backstop in terms of lending,
in terms of any support greece needs, what about the rest of those countries? does this become, okay, everybody gets bailed out? >> well i'm not sure if they get bailed out. but i think the important thing is to realize that what has happened to them has got to be dealt with quite quickly and carefully. they've got to put them on a proper, basic fact of economic reality which they haven't being. we've got to realize that we can't go on in the private sector we've been gearing ourselves up. you know all of the troubles happening in this country and in my country. now in the public sector we're watching countries who are gearing up -- or have geared up -- beyond rational thinking and we've got to do something about it. >> i am glad that you brought that up, because you know, it's really all over the world and even when i was in davos, everyone's talking about debt on the balance sheets of government. so a recent poll showed that americans have lost trust in washington. from an international perspective, are citizens around the world, do you think, disillusioned and dismayed by their governments? >> i don't think that you can
say around the world they're disillusioned, but i think in my country we have doubts about some the actions by our government, like you have doubts about the action of your government. but i think that the fact is that politicians have got to get down to some bank thinking. they've got to use the people who know how to run businesses better. they've got to look at the ratios that countries get into. they've got to set in regulations. they've got to be much more transparent. the thing is really frightening is if you go back two years or go back six months, what do we know about greece? what do we know about portugal? what did we know about these debt's structure? like in my country we've got to know what our debt structure is and then we've got to train people and get it right and also try to give confidence back. to the citizens of the country. >> i want to ask you about that because i really want to get into the regulatory framework and what that might look like, what it should look like, but
first umentioned the euro. you said eventually this could be a positive, overall, at the end of the day. the implications out of greece. but do you -- do you see this as a global threat, a threat for the global markets? and what do you think the fate of the euro is as a result of this? >> well, the euro is part of our lives, except for the united kingdom and sweden. and of course not a member of the euro, the european union. we've got to realize that the euro has got to maintain its currency position. but only maintaining this kind of position if the competent members of the currency look after themselves correctly. and if that happens and if we can prove that we can do something about the greek problem and the other problems the other states i mentioned, you have, for example, new people planning to join. estonia, one of the baltic states, is very worried about what they are seeing what is happening in greece. will they be allowed in and be treated fairly? it's the smaller countries. you have the big countries, like
germany and france and italy, who obviously are worried about having to bailout the less well-off countries. >> were you surprised that u.s. came out with this idea of splitting proprietary trading from pure vanilla lending at the major banks? you know when i was traveling and speaking to various people from around the world, they said, we need a global standard. you know the u.s. can't come out with proposals on the banking without talking to you know talking to their counterparts around the world. so tell me your view of what is most important when it comes to regulatory reform in the financial services industry. >> well, one hopes that we live in a global world, our prime minister's recently announced the fact of trying to have a global tax, which i believe is going to be discussed at the next 2020 meeting in june. i think that one has to try and work collectively. it's no good each one going their own way and then afterwards something falling apart, and then we've got called into a state of emergency.
i think paul volcker's ideas are very important. they have to be thought through. they have to be presented. they have to be carefully analyzed and hopefully we'll bring together people who know about running these things. i have to be honest with you, i haven't got much faith in some the politicians who think they know and speak well of their own position, but don't really understand how to carry it out to the best advantage of the public. >> so with all of these uncertainties out there, how does a businessman like yourself invest? i mean, where are the opportunities today in terms of growth, in terms of investment, given all these headwinds that we're all facing around the world? >> well, i think that you have to be close to the shore. i think that you have to marry your portfolio between bonds and hopefully you'll get some sort of return. of course little return at the moment, so that doesn't help. ane then i think that you have to look at specialized industries which are doing well. some of the high-tech industries are doing well. you've seen how well apple has done. you've seen how well vodafone is doing. >> yeah, there is growth still.
>> there are growth in those areas and i think some of the natural resources opening up new mining concessions, opening up new oil concessions. so there's an opportunity, but you got to be careful. >> yeah. evelyn, great to have you on the program. thank you for your insights. >> thank you for allowing ne. >> sir evelyn de rothschild. silicon valley bureau chief jim goldman tells us the video game console wars and online dating console wars and online dating has become big business.
welcome back. we set our sights in one area of the video game space. when you go behind the numbers it turned out to be a solid month for one industry giant and a sobering month for one highflier in the group. cnbc's jim goldman now with the story. >> he hey, maria. happy friday to you. nothing like being stuck with console upgrades trying to come out of recession in the middle of all of this to kill your business. the video game business, beth hard and software are hurting. overall mpd software down 12% to
$597 million in january. the street expected a decline of 4%. hoard wear sales were off 21% to $353.7 million, but industry leaders, they are still trying to put lipstick on this hog. nintendo wii sales were up 31% year over year in january, but it still holds the number one position. its handheld, ds claimed the number two slot. the xbox 360 came in next with 333,000 units sold last month and sony's playstation 3 rounds it out. 36% growth in last january is by far the best showing of all the platforms. despite the poor showing, analysts hold out hope that new advances including the project natal, as well as the motion control interface from sony will help this industry recover and quickly, something microsoft's robby bock talked about last month in las vegas. >> 2010 is going to be the
biggest year in xbox history. with a year-long string of exclusive blockbuster titles, including our own halo reach and allen wake. and our ever-growing repertoire of social and gaming experience with xbox live including game room and the release of project natal this coming holiday. >> bioware's mass effect 2 took second place to super mario brothers as far as game titles are concern pipped than is your favorite title, maria, but that's not bad considering it was only on sale at end of this month. if you're sitting down with maria on mass effect 2, don't be fooled. she's a gamer. have a good weekend. >> you, too. thank you so much. we're setting our sights now on the business of online dating website. some companies in the group are showing strong growth. julia boorstin has more on what's behind this boom and why some of them could be potential buyout targets and how about potential merger candidates?
get it? merger? talking about dating. >> both types of mergers, maria because online dating doesn't just make love kecks, it also makes big money. the industry's revenues are growing 10% to 15% per year on track to hit $1.9 billion in the next three years. that's why analysts say private e harmony, the second biggest paid dating site is a natural acquisition target for yahoo!, and aol and e harmony's larger rival could snap up larger sites themselves. >> what will happen is the big mainstream companies will acquire niche brands and so you will see companies like eharmony potentially could acquire other brands that basically fit within this model. >> these premium sites face korm tigz from e sites from plenty of fish.com as well as social networks, but while over 40% of online daters also use sites
like facebook to find dates, they haven't proven a threat. >> the concept of social networking ends up being a platform that these paid for dating services can start to leverage, so it ends up being more complimentary than competitive. >> last year's ioc match sites generated $350 million in revenue and controlled 50% of the market. e harmony brought 13% market share. e harmony costs twice as much as match per month and the lengthy questionnaire and it's worth it. one success story agrees. >> there was no comparison. no -- you get what you pay for. you definitely get what you pay for. >> maria, get this. 236 e-harmony members get married on average every single day. that represents 2% of all u.s. marriages. >> that's amazing. it really is an amazing business and i've met people who have met
online. i think it's wonderful. >> growing fast. >> well, tragedy striking the winter olympics before the games even begin. cnbc's darren rovell is in vancouver working the story. >> yes, that's right, maria. we'll have the details of a luge athlete that has died. that's coming up next on "the that's coming up next on "the closing bell."
tonight's opening ceremony will kick off the winter olympics in vancouver, but the games have already been struck by tragedy. cnbc's darren rovell is in vancouver with the details. daren? >> that's right, maria. just a couple of hours ago it was confirmed a luge athlete from the former soviet republic of georgia has died. there was an intense effort to save his life. the photos you're about to see are graphic in nature. his name is nodar kumaritashvili. he crashed into a metal pole. now there are questions as to what has been called the world's fastest luge course is too fast. kumaritashvili had crashed before. it is investigating the accident, but the luge is sked youed to begin tomorrow. a death in the games and the winter games certainly